Sunday afternoons were created for naps. That’s why NASCAR exists – to help you take your Sunday afternoon nap.
My kids don’t believe in naps. For them, Sunday afternoons were created for being loud and asking for stuff. That’s why parents exist – to ask them to get you things while they’re trying to take a nap.
Last Sunday, my kids wanted to eat something while I took my nap so they came in and asked me if they could have a snack. Parents, be careful how you answer the questions your kids ask you when you’re half asleep.
“Sure. Eat. Just put the lid back on the paint can when you get done.”
No kid can eat something without washing it down with some delicious high fructose corn syrup and yellow number 5.
“Yes! You can have a drink. Just don’t get it from under the sink.”
The questions kept on coming. And with each one my nap became less of a reality. Finally, I jumped up, rolled my eyes, took a bunch of deep breaths and stomped into the kitchen to give my kids what they were looking for. When everything was taken care of I sternly told them to find something to play with while I looked over the Bible passage I would be preaching from that night.
My kids played quietly in their room while I prayed for God to give me guidance and wisdom as I prepared to preach. My prayer time was anything but quiet. None of the verses I read were making sense. Things just weren’t coming together.
And then the Holy Spirit reminded me of my sinful attitude towards my kids. As usual, I tried to pass it off.
“Yes Lord, my attitude was sinful. Good thing my sons are too young to notice that sort of thing.”
I’ve always wanted to be a superhero and I’ve never once come close to being one. Well, unless you count that time in kindergarten when I wore my underwear on the outside of my pants. Being a dad is my chance to be a superhero. My kids don’t know my shortcomings yet. As far as their concerned, their dad is the strongest, fastest and most spiritual man on the planet. Admitting my sinfulness to them might destroy that image and any shot I ever had at being a superhero.
But, as I sat in front of my Bible, I just couldn’t get away from my sin. There was nowhere to hide. The Holy Spirit had already exposed my sinfulness to the only one who was really convinced that I was a superhero. Me.
I got up and walked into my kid’s room. This time without the stomping and heavy breathing.
My boys thought they were in trouble. Their laughing and smiling were replaced by blank, frozen faces.
“Boys, remember when I stomped into the kitchen to get juice for you?”
“Yes sir.” The thoughts running through their minds were almost visible.
Oh boy. What’d we do now? Did he find out about the paint can?
“Well, my attitude was wrong. I wasn’t acting like Jesus and that’s a sin. I’m sorry.”
They seemed relieved that it was me, not them, that was caught in sin.
“Yeah dad. We were wondering why you had that frown look on your face.”
So much for being a superhero. Now my kids know that their dad has a sin problem. My true identity has been revealed. And I’m okay with that.
When my sons are grown, they are going to remember my shortcomings. I don’t want them to remember me as a man who hid behind a mask of presumed perfection. I’d rather them remember their dad as someone who didn’t always have it together but who always found grace, forgiveness and restoration in Jesus Christ.
My kids don’t need a superhero.
They need the gospel.
And so does their dad.